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Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Director: Peter Jackson
review by Trent Walters
What makes this the greatest movie of all time? No, it's not because it's based on a true story. It's because it's a love more complex and more powerful than the love-at-first-look of Romeo And Juliet - not only does the Jackson's music score comment on their love but it pulls an amazing stunt by altering the feeling such music would normally convey. That said, if you haven't seen the movie yet, stop reading and correct your egregious error immediately. The full power of the movie comes from the unveiling the mystery of surprise and horror, love and suspense. Now go rent.
For those of you that say - come on; 'it's just a story of two young lesbians who kill a mother who tried to stand between them.' Are they lesbians? The lesbian undertone cannot be denied, but their love is certainly far more complex than that.
A new girl comes to town (Kate Winslet), and slowly woos the reluctant admiration of Melanie Lynskey, who plays a girl not easily pleased. While other girls assume ridiculous girly poses for art class, Melanie folds her arms and pouts. When Melanie discovers Kate hasn't painted her portrait but rather of a dragon and a knight, her face lights up. When Melanie, biking across a country road with her sacred record of Mario Lanza, runs into Kate being chased by her little brother, Kate beckons Melanie to join. The little brother pounces on Melanie and the sacred record is broken. Melanie learns that she is not the only lover of the world's greatest tenor. Soon their imaginations carry them away into a claymation land of their actors, of a kingdom of death, sex and intrigue. The parents begin to grow concerned of their growing attachment and try to separate the pair, but the pair will work their damnedest not to be separated.
What makes this love more complex than anything so simply stated as lesbianism, is the girls' admiration for male actors and Mario Lanza. When they act out love scenes, it is as male and female lovers. Melanie finds girls 'silly' and making love to a man though imagination is too simple for her. It is her shared passion that draws her to Kate. But is it as a lover? Note the black and white scenes on the ship, of Melanie running with Kate to a mother and father. Theirs is a love that transcends sexuality, a bond that allows no other bonds to come between them, a bond worthy of our admiration and our envy. No wonder they had to be separated.
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